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Pipistrello Lamp
Iconic Designs

Pipistrello Lamp

About the Design

Like the animal for which it is named, Gae Aulenti’s 1965 Pipistrello, which means “bat” in Italian, is a lamp that’s both graceful and skeletal. With its translucent shade and telescopic stem, the Pipistrello merges art and engineering. Designing her iconic lamp wasn’t Aulenti’s only project at the time; she was also teaching at the School of Architecture at the Polytechnic University of Milan and running her architecture practice, which she founded in 1954.


In addition to architecture, Aulenti (1927–2012) was also interested in interior design, especially so when she joined the staff of design magazine Casabella in 1955. She would later go on to join the American Society of Interior Designers. The Pipistrello is a testament to both Aulenti’s architectural training as well as her foray into interior decoration. Its telescopically adjustable steel stem, set atop a lacquered aluminum base, renders it a practical and versatile table lamp. The acrylic shade, meanwhile, is sculptural and dynamic, with its overlapping arches suggesting mid-flight movement. Aulenti’s choice of material — white opal methacrylate, a translucent acrylic — makes for an enchanting glow when the light is on and hides the lamp’s inner workings when it’s off.


Despite her lasting legacy, Aulenti championed an understated approach to interiors and architecture, espousing the belief that a room’s human occupants should be the focus rather than any design piece. In an interview with Vogue, she said that her "advice to whoever asks me how to make a home is to not have anything, just a few shelves for books, some pillows to sit on.”


Aulenti’s second bit of advice, though, is an embodiment of her legacy and commitment to lasting design: “To take a stand against the ephemeral, against passing trends . . . and to return to lasting values." Light, function and durability — what could be more lasting than those?


The Pipistrello was manufactured by Milanese design house Martinelli Luce, which would become famous for the Cobra desk lamp a few years later, and it remains in production today.


Gae Aulenti Pipistrello Lamp

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Pair of Black Pipistrello Table Lamps by Gae Aulenti
By Gae Aulenti, Martinelli Luce
Located in Los Angeles, CA
Pipistrello table lamp by Gae Aulenti for Martinelli Luce. The model 620 lamp was designed in 1965 by the Italian design maestro and has remained a steadfast Classic for generations....
Category

Vintage 1960s Italian Mid-Century Modern Table Lamps

Materials

Metal, Chrome

1990s Italian Martinello Luce Pipistrello Table Lamp
By Gae Aulenti
Located in Malaga, ES
1990s Italian Martinello Luce Pipistrello table lamp.
Category

Late 20th Century Italian Table Lamps

Materials

Chrome, Metal

White Pipistrello Table Lamp by Gae Aulenti
By Gae Aulenti, Martinelli Luce
Located in Los Angeles, CA
Pipistrello table lamp by Gae Aulenti for Martinelli Luce. The Model 620 lamp was designed in 1965 by the Italian design maestro and has remained a steadfast classic for generations....
Category

Vintage 1960s Italian Mid-Century Modern Table Lamps

Materials

Metal, Chrome

Pipistrello Oro Limited Edition by Gae Aulenti
By Gae Aulenti
Located in Dronten, NL
This rare golden version of the Pipistrello lamp was only available in 2015. The Pipistrello Oro is a signed and numbered limited edition. Unused, still in the original package.
Category

21st Century and Contemporary Italian Mid-Century Modern Table Lamps

Materials

Stainless Steel

White Pipistrello Table Lamp by Gae Aulenti for Martinelli Luce
By Gae Aulenti, Martinelli Luce
Located in Lasne, BE
Pipistrello lamp by Gae Aulenti, stamped under the lamp (see photo) light wear due to the time and the age of the object. Lamp adjustable in height. Maximum height 87cm Minimun 70cm.
Category

1990s Italian Mid-Century Modern Table Lamps

Materials

Metal

Large Pipistrello Table Lamp by Gae Aulenti for Martinelli Luce
By Gae Aulenti
Located in Los Angeles, CA
Large Pipistrello table lamp by Gae Aulenti for Martinelli Luce. Originally designed in 1965, this current production comes with a white opal methacrylate diffuser and a base made of...
Category

2010s Italian Mid-Century Modern Table Lamps

Materials

Aluminum, Stainless Steel

Large Pipistrello Table Lamp by Gae Aulenti for Martinelli Luce
By Gae Aulenti
Located in Los Angeles, CA
Large Pipistrello table lamp by Gae Aulenti for Martinelli Luce. Originally designed in 1965, this current production comes with a white opal methacrylate diffuser and a base made of...
Category

2010s Italian Mid-Century Modern Table Lamps

Materials

Aluminum

Superb Pair of Gae Aulenti Pipistrello Table Lamps
By Gae Aulenti
Located in Los Angeles, CA
Superb pair of Gae Aulenti Pispitrelo table lamps. 620 Martinelli Luce (with stamp on the back). Adjustable height, as shown on the pictures. The lamp shades are removable. 4-light/p...
Category

20th Century Italian Table Lamps

Materials

Chrome

Martinelli Luce Dimmable LED Pipistrello 620 Table Lamp by Gae Aulenti
By Gae Aulenti, Martinelli Luce
Located in New York, NY
Designed in 1965 by Gae Aulenti for Martinelli Luce, the lamp is made with innovative techniques for the diffuser in methacrylate for the time in which it was designed. The shape of ...
Category

21st Century and Contemporary Italian Modern Table Lamps

Materials

Stainless Steel

Martinelli Luce LED Minipipistrello 620/J Table Lamp by Gae Aulenti
By Gae Aulenti, Martinelli Luce
Located in New York, NY
Mini version of the Pipistrello lamp designed by Gae Aulenti in 1965. Table lamp diffused lighting. Glazed stainless steel structure, white opal methacrylate diffuser. Base and knob...
Category

21st Century and Contemporary Italian Modern Table Lamps

Materials

Stainless Steel

Two "Pipistrello" Table Lamps by Gae Aulenti for Martinelli Luce
By Gae Aulenti, Martinelli Luce
Located in Los Angeles, CA
Two Pipistrello table lamps by Gae Aulenti for Martinelli Luce. Manufactured in Italy, 1965. Enameled metal, with acrylic shade. Original cord. Telescopic height adjustment system. E...
Category

Vintage 1960s Italian Mid-Century Modern Table Lamps

Materials

Metal, Stainless Steel

Gae Aulenti 20th Century White and Inox Pipistrello Italian Lamp, 1980
By Gae Aulenti, Martinelli Luce
Located in Paris, FR
Table lamp or standing lamp with diffused light, adjustable height. Glazed stainless steel telescope. White opal methacrylate diffuser. Designed in 1965 by Gae Aulenti for Martinel...
Category

Late 20th Century Italian Mid-Century Modern Table Lamps

Materials

Stainless Steel

Gae Aulenti, Pair of "Pipistrello" Lamps, 1963
By Gae Aulenti
Located in Paris, FR
Black lacquered aluminium base, brushed metal steel telescopic arm and methacrylate reflectors. Martinelli-Luce edition.
Category

Vintage 1960s European Other Table Lamps